Sunday, November 20, 2011

short reviews: Starry Sky, Stardust Wink, Tactics

And here's the next two short anime reviews, and one manga review:

This is an anime adaption of a so-called otome game, a dating game for girls. That tells you all about the plot: it's non-existent. The female heroine has no character (still of course everyone likes her), but she's also not playing too big a role. The anime focuses on twelve guys, one for each Western Zodiac, portraying each one in two episodes. The episodes are rather short, about 10 minutes each, which makes 20 minutes for each character. I'm sure there could have been a nice plot which explores the relationships between the characters more, their future and the strange abilities some of them have - unfortunately there isn't much of that.
But it's well-drawn and there's lots of bishonen guys. Not a great one, but simple entertainment if you don't want to spend too much time and just need something easy for "in between".

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"Tactics" is an anime set in the early 20th century Japan. Kantarou is a folklorist who can see mythical creatures. He makes a living by writing articles and being an exorcist. Since his childhood he has been friends with "monsters" and searches for the "oni-eating tengu". He finally finds him, frees him, names him Haruka and the tengu comes to live with him and a fox girl. There's also an annoying little girl who fell in love with Haruka and some others who keep constantly visiting Kantarou.
For me the secret star of the anime is Moo-chan, a small monster with very peculiar looks who is married to a tengu. She doesn't speak any words and looks like a cute ...thing... so it's funny to see how she's a married "woman" and actually saves the day once or twice.
Sorry for all the Japanese words, but it's a bit hard for me to distinguish between the different mythical creatures such as youkai (like the fox girl), oni and tengu. The subtitles translate them as monsters, ogres and goblins but those words don't really fit and maybe they should just have kept the Japanese terms.
At first the anime has stand-alone episodes with searching for new creatures and solving new riddles in every episode. A bigger plot slowly reveals itself and is only the main theme in the last few episodes. Be warned: the ending is bitter-sweet.
So far there's 25 episodes, but there's hints to more.
Contrary to what the fan art might suggest, this is neither a yaoi nor a shonen ai anime.

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Stardust Wink
Anna is 14 and always together with her neighbours and best friends since childhood, Sou and Hinata - both boys. Both of the guys are very popular with the girls at school and Anna is asked constantly which one of them she's dating. But they're just friends, right? Until Sou messes things up by confessing to her. She likes him, so they start to date, but things don't go well and they break up soon. They intend to stay friends, but then Anna falls in love with Hinata and... well, it's quite the chaos. Strangely the three of them manage to stay friends, with one of the boys saving the day when there's a tough situation between the other two.
Again the female lead is rather uninteresting, she's a stupid crybaby and the most anyone can say about her personality is that she apparently has no will of her own and just follows the flow without much consideration about other people's feelings. The two guys are more interesting, even though they're the usual hothead/stoic duo.
I don't really know why I read this all through... There's 19 volumes so far.

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